DEAR HARRIETTE: The holiday season is upon us, and this year has been an interesting one financially for me. I would like to send my family and my friends gifts, but I don't have the money. What are some creative ways I can give gifts without being embarrassed? -- Giving From the Heart, Hillside, N.J.
DEAR GIVING FROM THE HEART: Please don't feel compelled to spend money that you don't have. Being more broke will only compound the potential for embarrassment, which is not a path to happiness.
But you do have options. Go shopping among your things. Do you have a favorite book that one of your loved ones would appreciate? What about an article of clothing that could be a favored hand-me-down? An art object that would be perfect in someone else's home? Think about your loved ones and envision who might truly welcome such a gift.
A heartfelt note written to each of these people about the value of your relationship could be a wonderful gift that they will treasure for life. And an old standby for great cooks is to make something edible that your loved ones may enjoy. There is some expense to home-cooked gifts, so if you go that route, be sure to keep costs down.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a problem: My husband is not particularly fond of my hairy arms and legs. He told me a lady should never have "additional" body hair on her because it makes her less attractive.
It's wintertime and it is cold, and having additional hair on my arms and legs keeps me warm. But by refusing to shave, I'm running the risk of reducing the intimate moments with my husband (if you know what I mean).
Even though I've heard we are going to have a long winter, I'm having second thoughts about this additional body hair. Can you suggest some other ways I can keep warm? -- Hairy Situation, Memphis, Tenn.
DEAR HAIRY SITUATION: Before you make a decision, you have to be clear about your reasons for removing your hair.
If warmth is truly the main issue, there are plenty of ways to keep warm other than body hair, such as thermal underwear, leggings and, for formal events, sheer hosiery. You can choose to wear clothing made out of warm fabrics such as wool and silk, shirts with long sleeves, long pants, etc.
You can stay warm, but there is another issue: How can you and your husband deal with the friction caused by your hairiness? You were hairy before you got married. It's odd that it has taken this long to be addressed.
If you are willing to try shaving, go to a professional to help you manage without getting hair bumps. It could be worth a try, if you are interested.